Me and Mr Darcy

Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alexandra Potter
about?’ she tuts quietly.
    And this from a woman who’s got her head stuck out at a right angle into the aisle.
    I continue reading. Maeve’s obviously from some sleepy little country village in Ireland where nothing happens. This is probably the most exciting thing to happen to her in a long time. Unlike me, living in the daily hustle and bustle of New York, the city that never sleeps. I see way more exciting stuff than this every day so it’s really no big deal for me.
    Oh, who are you kidding, Emily? City that never sleeps? Hustle and bustle? You’re as curious as Maeve.
    Grabbing the headrest in front of me, I hoist myself up from my seat to get a good look at the little old lady. Except it’s not a little old lady.
    It’s him. The guy from the Renault.
    Something stirs and if I didn’t know better I’d think it was excitement. Surely he’s not . . . ? I mean, he can’t be . . . There’s no way he’s the person we’re waiting for, right?
    Wrong. Engaged in a conversation with Miss Steane, our tour guide, who’s tapping her watch and frowning, he’s talking nineteen to the dozen, gesticulating widely, while trying to tuck in his shirt, which refuses to stay in his chinos.
    Then all at once he seems to notice Ernie, our driver, and stops mid-sentence to throw him a furious glower. Jeez, Louise, this guy is in a bad mood. And now he’s turning and thundering down the aisle, bashing people left and right with his laptop bag and briefcase as he heads towards the back of the coach. Suddenly he looks right at me and I smile politely.
    He responds with a filthy scowl.
    What the . . . ?
    I feel a slap of indignation. What an asshole! And there was me just trying to be nice to him. Infuriated, I respond by glaring right back. Then he strides past me to the back of the tourbus and flings himself into the empty seat. Bristling, I sit back down. The driver starts up the engine and, as we begin to pull out of the parking lot, I make up my mind to ignore him.
    Even if he is a handsome stranger , pipes up a voice inside me.
    For a millisecond I waver; but it’s just a millisecond. So what if he is? That doesn’t change anything. He’s still an asshole, and I’m still going to ignore him. Completely and utterly. For the whole week. Just you watch me.

Chapter Five
     
    I must have dozed off because the next thing I know I’m waking up to discover we’ve pulled off the freeway – sorry, correction: motorway – and are now winding our way through the Hampshire countryside on some of the narrowest roads I’ve ever seen. Outside, a blur of hedges fly past, a vivid band of green against the blank, grey expanse of sky. It’s still drizzling and raindrops are weaving their way down the windowpanes, making everything look like a watercolour painting that’s gone all streaky.
    ‘This is the countryside that Jane Austen would have known growing up . . .’ our tour guide’s voice is chatting away over the microphone ‘. . . and which featured in many of her novels.’
    There’s a buzz as people stop what they’re doing to look out of the windows. We’re entering a small village now. Rows of skinny red-brick houses line the tiny streets, their crisscross leaded windows glittering as we pass by. I stare at them, feeling a tingle of excitement. It’s just like I imagined. Over there, there’s even a village green with a duck pond and real ducks and everything.
    I watch them bobbing contentedly, dipping their beaks into the water and raising their feathered bottoms comically into the air. I smile to myself, reminded of the ones in Central Park. Ducks, it would appear, like to stick their butts in the air whether they’re English or American.
    But now they’re behind us, and as we manoeuvre round a tight corner I see a traditional English pub up ahead. Oh, my God, is that a real thatched roof? And does that sign actually read ‘Ye Olde’ something or other?
    I squash my nose against the window in

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